When we celebrate communion as a church family, we often walk through 1 Corinthians 11:17-28 as we do so. During this time, the symbols remind us of Christ’s commitment to His church through His sacrifice. This practice should also remind us of our commitment to one another as the body of Christ. While we celebrate corporately in remembrance of Christ, this symbolizes how His sacrifice unites us. Unfortunately, however, as we grow it seems like the goal becomes an isolated relationship with the Lord, with a subtle disregard for His people. We often drift towards isolation, leaving many of us thirsty for relationships.
How can we satisfy this thirst that we all have? While many individuals only seek fulfillment through the covenant of marriage, I believe God has given us the church as another means of that fulfillment. The unfortunate reality is that our perspective as believers, in regards to church, mirrors the social scene of popular society: a commitment phobia. Much like the world approaches dating, the church does the same of the body of Christ. We date churches, we may even enter a long-term relationship with one, but we don’t ever fully commit.
And because we’re only dating, we can visit as many churches as we want without fulfilling certain expectations. Even if we become members at a church, we often times still bail when something goes wrong. I don’t believe we view church through the proper lenses. We are neglecting the fact that under God, we are family. Instead, we seem to want the benefits of a church, without true commitment to one. We may faithfully attend service at a certain location, but the people we do life with and invite to our children’s birthday parties belong to another local body. Sure, we can and should build with believers, whether we share the same elders or not, but the place we call our “church” should be synonymous with our family. And family is defined by intersection and accountability, which makes it void of ambiguity and not based on addition. Simply put, we need to be sure that we see our church as a covenant family who we share our lives with regularly, not simply weekly.
So, as the author of Hebrew’s exhorts us not to forsake the assembly, I want to encourage you not to forsake those who actually comprise that assembly. Invest in them. Commit to your family of Christ, and satiate the thirst for true community for which your soul longs.
Dhati is married to Angie, and they have six beautiful children: Trinity (10), Jade (9), Briaiah (7), Dhati, Jr (6), Brayden (5) and Nathaniel (4). Dhati’s passions are for church planting and discipleship. He launched The Rebuild Network in 2011, answering the call to see more churches planted in the urban context. He currently serves as the president of The Rebuild Initiative and lead pastor of Blueprint Church in Atlanta. Learn more at therebuildinitiative.org, or follow him on Twitter @dhati.